NHL: Stars top Avalanche again to take control of series

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Tyler Seguin scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period and iced the game with a marker into an empty net as the Dallas Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series in Denver on Saturday night.

Logan Stankoven also had two goals and Jake Oettinger made 28 saves for Dallas, which leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 and took back home-ice advantage from Colorado. The Avalanche’s only lead in the series came on Miles Wood’s overtime goal in Game 1.

The Stars can put Colorado on the brink of elimination with a win in Game 4 in Denver on Monday night.

The game on Saturday was tied at 1-1 when Dallas broke out on an odd-man rush. Evgenii Dadonov stickhandled the puck into the left circle and sent a pass to Seguin on the other side of the net, and Seguin redirected it by Alexandar Georgiev at 15:13 of the second.

The Stars protected that lead throughout the third period. Georgiev came off for an extra skater with 1:50 left, and Seguin scored his third goal of the playoffs at 18:23. Stankoven scored another empty-netter, his second goal of the night, at 19:32.

“That was one of the best third periods we’ve played the whole postseason. Just being smart and not taking penalties,” Oettinger said. “I don’t think they had many scoring chances in the third, so we learned from our mistakes in Games 1 and 2.”

Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche, and Georgiev turned away 19 shots.

“We did a lot of great things, had a lot of chances, a lot of good looks, just Oettinger was great and we made a couple of big errors that cost us,” Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon said.

Asked about his team’s inability to score in the third period, Colorado coach Jared Bednar said, “The story’s earlier in the game. I felt like we carried long stretches of the game for the first 40 minutes. We’ve got to make it a little bit tougher on Oettinger, getting traffic there.”

Colorado winger Valeri Nichushkin failed to score a goal for the first time in eight playoff games. His seven-game goal streak to start the postseason is tied for the longest in NHL history with Pat LaFontaine, who did it with Buffalo in 1992.

Colorado carried the play for much of the first period, but a late turnover led to the game’s first goal. Georgiev made an initial save on Dallas’ rush, but Devon Toews lost the puck to Miro Heiskanen, who fed Stankoven in the slot. Stankoven’s wrister beat Georgiev inside the left post at 18:39.

The Avalanche tied it just past the midpoint of the second period after MacKinnon maneuvered through three Dallas players and lifted a backhander that Oettinger stopped. The rebound went behind the goaltender in the crease, and Rantanen knocked it in at 10:24.

It was Rantanen’s third goal of the playoffs and gave him 99 career postseason points in 78 games.

–Field Level Media

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